All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Today in Yankee history....

Infielder Andy Phillips took yet another ride on the Columbus Shuttle when he was returned there as the team recalled outfielder Bubba Crosby on June 15, 2005. And one year later, Nick Green was Columbus-bound to make room for Bubba Crosby yet again, this time coming off the DL.

So, I was talking to this guy from Texas. His last name was Crosby, and I asked him, just making conversation, if he was related to Bubba. To my surprise, he said "probably" - because almost all American Crosbys are related. Turned out, he was a genealogy buff, and had traced his family roots all the way back to the old country. Which was York, England.

According to him, Symon Crosby was on the Susan and Ellin, the 48th Pilgrim ship, arriving in the Plymouth Colony in 1635. He had one son, Thomas, who graduated from Harvard (class of 1653). Thomas had a ton of kids. They eventually spread across New England and Canada, and then the rest of the U.S. Almost every American Crosby is descended from Symon. That means Bubba is probably related to Sidney. And David. And Bing. And while Michael Kay was wrong when he told YES viewers that Bobby Crosby was Bubba's brother, they probably are related.

That really surprised me. I am somewhat interested in etymology (the history of words and names). I knew "Crosby" means something like "farm at the crossroads," and just assumed that it was a common name that arose more than once. Perhaps it is, but here in the U.S., all the Crosbys are descended from one man who arrived in Plymouth 375 years ago.

I read once that on average, family names last only four generations or so. That doesn't necessarily mean the family dies out; if a generation has only daughters, but no sons, or no legitimate sons, the family name dies out though the family may continue.

I guess the flip side of that is if the family name survives, it can become extremely widespread. It's the exponential function - kids having kids have kids.

Speaking of roots...the LA Times had a fascinating three-part series last month about a journalist who investigates the roots of his unusual family name, "Mozingo." No one in his family really knows its origins. It's rumored to be Italian, or French, or Basque. Eventually, he finds out the truth: blue-eyed surfer that he is, he's descended from an African prince. "Mozingo" is a Bantu name.

There are both white and black Mozingos in the U.S. now, and some of the white ones are mortified at their African ancestry. Refuse to believe it, even. All in all, a really interesting read.


posted by BubbaFan, 5:01 PM


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